Gov’t to provide lodging for evicted health workers – PRRD

President Duterte vowed to provide billeting to healthcare workers who were evicted from their residences due to discrimination amid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on August 31, 2020.

In his late-night public address on Monday, President Duterte said his heart bleeds for the medical frontliners who were evicted from their homes because of being exposed to the dreaded virus.

"They are summarily dismissed from their residence whether it is leased, rented... 'Yan ang nakaka ano ng loob (That pains me)," he said Monday evening.

According to the President, the government must have a mechanism to help the said health workers who were chased out of their homes because of "unfounded fear" that they may infect the people around them.

"If this happens, you can call directly the office of Secretary Galvez and we will provide you with the necessary billeting pati pagkain na (including your food)," he said.

"We will choose a place nearest to where you are working," he added.

Duterte said that the government can rent hotel rooms for the said health workers. He likewise assured them that they will be treated decently, especially with their sacrifices during the global health crisis.

Since the start of the pandemic, the President has been urging the public not to discriminate against health workers and patients who get sick with COVID-19.

"Maawa naman ako sa mga tao na tumutulong tapos pinapaalis. Hindi ho maganda pakinggan (I feel bad for them because they are the ones helping us yet they are being chased out of their homes. It does not look good) so it behooves on this government to do something about it," the President said.

"We will find a house, a hotel, tsaka (and) we will treat you decently. The long and short of it, parang tao ka (you will be treated like a human being)," he added.

"Since you are there, I said, obligasyon ng gobyerno na tumulong (it is the government's obligation to help you out)," he continued.

Meanwhile, Duterte asked the health workers who experienced the same predicament to tell him the names of their landlords. He even jested that they should not treat them if they need medical attention.

"Sabihin mo lang ang pangalan ng may-ari ng building, may-ari ng boarding house at (Just tell me the name of the owner of the building or the boarding house and), I will call their attention publicly," he said.

“Kung sila ang magkasakit, ‘wag na silang tanggapin sa ospital din, parang ganoon. Mabuti siguro (If they get sick, don’t admit them to your hospital. I think that’s fair) – tit for tat. Well, anyway, I’m joking,” he added.

President Duterte assured that the government is doing its best to address everyone’s needs during this time of the pandemic.

“We are experiencing a lack of everything. We are trying to make up for the deficiencies and luckily the Philippines is able to meet at least half of what was the expectations of the people,” he said. (With a report from Genalyn D. Kabiling)